With the increase in people across the country working from home, video calls have become the go-to method for conducting job interviews. Even as we see more and more companies returning to the office, video interviews don’t seem to be going away any time soon.
To help give you the best chance at landing your dream job, here are some of our top tips for a successful video interview.
What to wear for a video interview
When you get dressed for your video call, you want to dress professionally, and equally as formally as you would for an in-person interview.
An interview is your chance to make a great first impression, show your enthusiasm and suitability for the role, so try to resist the temptation to dress casually.
How to prepare for a video interview
Check your tech
When preparing for your interview, be sure to check what video conferencing software the interviewer will be using. Set up a professional looking account if you don’t have one already, and familiarise yourself with how the software works.
If you will be conducting a presentation during your interview, or showcasing your past work, practice sharing your screen to avoid any technical issues during the real thing.
Some of the most popular video calling platforms that your interviewer may use are Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype and Google Meet.
Choose a distraction-free location
Be sure to plan where in your home you will sit for your interview.
It’s important to choose a suitable location, with minimal distractions. You want the interviewer to focus on you, not the room around you, so choose a space with a neutral background, away from any loud noises.
Consider the lighting - you want to make sure the space is well lit so that you can be seen clearly. Avoid sitting with a window behind you, ideally there will be a light source in front of you.
How to prepare for the interview
When preparing for a video interview, remember to treat it just as you would an in-person meeting. Whether you’ve been in your current job for a while, or you just want to give yourself the best chance at success, you will want to practice your interview skills ahead of time.
You may want to practice answering common interview questions on camera and record yourself. This way you can watch it back and identify anything you want to improve on.
Take the same steps you would for any job interview - research the company and the position, identify all the ways you can contribute to the business, prepare answers to typical interview questions and plan some questions to ask them.
Common job interview questions
While the exact questions you are asked will vary based on the position you're applying for, here are some of the typical questions you are likely to be asked:
- Tell me about yourself / walk me through your CV
- Why do you want to work here?
- Why are you leaving your current job?
- How could you provide value to the business?
- What are your key strengths / weaknesses?
- What is your expected salary?
- Case studies: what would you do in this scenario?
Planning your answers to these commonly asked questions will put you in a strong position for your interview and minimise any chances of panicking if you’re not sure how to answer.
You may find it beneficial to write down some notes to help you with your answers. Avoid writing down too much though - while it may be tempting, you don’t want to sound like you’re reading from a script.
Keep any notes brief, in bullet point format. Use your notes as prompts, rather than fully formed answers.
Be aware of your body language
Maintaining good eye contact and being aware of your body language and facial expressions is just as important in a video interview as it is face to face.
While you can’t actually make eye contact over a video call, keeping your eyes on your screen and facing towards the camera will give the impression of eye contact, and make it clear that you are engaged in the conversation.
Pay attention to how you sound
A common mistake when practicing for a video interview is focusing on how you look, and forgetting to think about how you sound.
Speak as would when entering a management meeting or a sales pitch. It’s easy to sound unenthused over a video call. Speak clearly and at a reasonable pace, and don’t be afraid to pause to formulate your answers when needed. And make sure you sound enthusiastic, positive and engaged throughout.
Treat your interview like any other
Stay professional, yet personable - remember to be yourself and let your personality shine throughout the interview.
Ultimately, as long as you are confident with your setup, if you treat your video call as you would any other job interview, you will give yourself the best chance at success.
At MVP, we know that our talent network is our greatest asset. Our expert consultants will work hard to make sure your next career move is a success, supporting you every step of the way. If you would like any further advice, we are more than happy to offer critical insight and help you hone your interview technique.